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Patterns of Advanced Technology Adoption and Manufacturing Performance: Employment Growth, Labor Productivity, and Employee Earnings

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Author Info

  • David N. Beede

    (U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, Office of Policy Development)

  • Kan H. Young

    (same)

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    Abstract

    Previous studies of the relationship between technology adoption and performance in U.S. manufacturing plants take the number of technologies in use as a measure of technological sophistication. These studies generally find a positive monotonic relationship between technology counts and employment growth and earnings and productivity levels among otherwise similar plants. However, the technology count approach masks potential differences in performance among plants that adopt the same number, but different combinations, of technologies. The present study advances earlier work by examining how plant performance is associated with specific technology combinations. The analysis yields several important insights. First, there is enormous diversity in technology adoption patterns. Second, specific technology combinations (e.g., computer aided design combined with numerically controlled machines vs. computer aided manufacturing combined with numerically controlled machines) generally have different degrees of association with plant performance, even among the plants that adopt the same number of technologies. Third, plants that integrate fabrication with assembly operations appear to use advanced technologies more effectively than those engaged in only fabrication or assembly.

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    File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/dev/papers/9604/9604001.doc.gz
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 9604001.

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    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Apr 1996
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:9604001

    Note: Type of Document - MS Word; prepared on IBM PC; to print on HP LaserJet; pages: 38 ; figures: none
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    Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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    References

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    1. Stephen Nickell & D. Nicolitsas, 1994. "Wages," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51644, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 1906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Robert H Mcguckin & Mary L Streitwieser & Mark E Doms, 1996. "The Effect Of Technology Use On Productivity Growth," Working Papers 96-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Fagerberg, Jan, 1994. "Technology and International Differences in Growth Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1147-75, September.
    5. Doms, Mark & Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J., 1995. "The role of technology use in the survival and growth of manufacturing plants," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 523-542, December.
    6. Doms, Mark & Dunne, Timothy & Troske, Kenneth R, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-90, February.
    7. Timothy Dunne & James A Schmitz Jr., 1992. "Wages, Employer Size-Wage Premia and Employment Structure: Their Relationship to Advanced-Technology Usage at U.S. Manufacturing Establishments," Working Papers 92-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Feller, Irwin & Nelson, Jon P., 1999. "The microeconomics of manufacturing modernization programs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 807-818, November.
    2. Nathan Musick, 1998. "Heroic Plants: Persistently Rapid Job Creators in the Longitudinal Research Database - Their Distinguishing Characteristics and Contribution to Employment Growth," Industrial Organization 9811001, EconWPA.
    3. Robert Mcguckin & Mary Streitwieser & Mark Doms, 1998. "The Effect Of Technology Use On Productivity Growth," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 1-26.
    4. Gómez, Jaime & Vargas, Pilar, 2012. "Intangible resources and technology adoption in manufacturing firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1607-1619.

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